As a business owner, you are obligated under Florida state law to collect sales tax and pay it to the state. For sales taxes collected, you must file and remit the collected sales taxes. Failure to comply with state sales tax law can be a crime, subjecting you to prosecution. Other problems can be caused by failure to collect the correct amount of sales tax.
The state of Florida is ramping up its enforcement of state sales tax, elevating suspected cases to the criminal level wherever possible. Even a casual conversation with an investigator can lead to serious consequences. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized businesses such as car dealerships and restaurants, which often have limited resources for accounting and tax preparation.
If the state believes you were delinquent in filing sales tax returns, or that there are discrepancies between your business practices and tax returns, it may conduct a civil tax audit on your business. If, after a civil tax audit, the Florida Department of Revenue believes that your business has committed state sales tax fraud, the case may be referred to criminal prosecutors.
There are many reasons why you might fail to collect and pay state sales taxes. Inadequate record keeping or confusion about whether a transaction is subject to sales tax could be a basis for a defense of criminal charges.
Before a civil audit turns into a criminal prosecution, speak with one of our Orlando criminal defense lawyers. Call the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., at (407) 901-5852 or fill out our online form.
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